See earlier report, Reform, Anglican Mainstream and the Society of St Augustine.
Odd that the picture on the Society site is quite surely St Augustine of Hippo, not St Augustine of Canterbury. And as noted, the registrant is Chris Sugden and Anglican Mainstream.
Conservative Evangelicals now appear to be pushing to have their own provisions in connection with women bishops.
John Richardson blogged And now — a Conservative Evangelical ‘Flying Bishop’?
And, today, Julian Mann blogged REFORM SOCIETY MUST GROW OUT OF OXBRIDGE
Reform chairman Rod Thomas’ enthusiasm for a new Conservative Evangelical Society was manifest at the national conference at High Leigh, Hertfordshire yesterday.
God willing, the plans will come to fruition and a Reform Society with its own bishops will emerge to preserve and promote Conservative Evangelical ministry within the Church of England.
But this is not entirely new, see the following items from last July:
Reform Rod Thomas Where Now On Women Bishops?
…If the draft measure is eventually approved in something like its present form, the clearest warning bells will be ringing for us. It may be that we will be able to make use of arrangements under the Code of Practice but at the very least it seems likely that some of our best young men will be put off offering themselves for the ordained ministry in the Church of England. If that happens – if the tap is turned off – then new incumbents for our churches will be harder and harder to come by and the future of our churches will be called into question.
Our response to this must be twofold:
i. We must encourage people to keep offering themselves for the ordained ministry for as long as it is possible. Hopefully they will be able to have a life-time of service in the Church of England. But if not, they will be no worse off when they make a move than if they had never entered. This will particularly be the case if we are able to use the time now available to us to forge closer links between our churches.
ii. We must forge closer links with one another. As the future looks increasingly uncertain, we need to bring the issues to our congregations now and then get PCC backing to the idea of linking up with other like-minded churches in a close fellowship. If more difficult times lie ahead, we need to support one another. One way of doing this may be to create a ‘Society’ within the Church of England, focused on mission, with its own bishops providing support and encouragement.
It could even be that if such a Society were to come into being, the House of Bishops might recognise it as a place where separate episcopal oversight could operate when the Women Bishops Measure comes in. We will be actively exploring this possibility in the months ahead.’
Cranmer’s Curate Julian Mann NEED TO MOVE FAST ON REFORM SOCIETY.
…But there is no practical reason why the Society, made up initially of a group of around 20 GAFCON-supporting churches, should not be set up before 2012. There are existing bishops in the UK who could already provide episcopal oversight for clergy and churches in the network, but it would be advisable to arrange for the consecration of some new conservative missionary bishops to serve alongside them. That would be a clear demonstration that the new Society means business.
The situation is patchy in the Church of England. If the new bishops consecrated are licence holders, their diocesans may move against them; some may turn a blind eye; others may invite them to join the senior staff for a civilised luncheon at the bishop’s favourite hostelry…